Christos Hatzis: BYZANTIUM

The Mega4 Meta4
for viola and tape

The Temptation of St. Anthony
for tape

for Byzantine Cantor and tape

for oboe, SATB chorus and tape

Steven Dann viola
Chari Polatos cantor
The Exultate Chamber Singers John Tuttle, conductor
Libby Van Cleve oboe

producer: David Jaeger
recorded at Glenn Gould Studio, CBC Broadcast Centre, Toronto
Humbercrest United Church, Toronto
Flora McCrea Eaton Auditorium, Toronto
The Church of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, Toronto
recording engineer: David Quinney
digital editing: John Oswald
cover design: Hands On Design
liner notes: Kai Black
translations: Veronique Robert

Centrediscs CMC-CD 4693.
Inquiries: Canadian Music Centre:
20 St. Joseph Street, Toronto, Ontario M4Y 1J9
(416) 961-6601
430, rue Saint-Pierre, bureau 300, Montreal, Quebec H2Y 2M5
(514) 849-9176
911 Library Tower, 2500 University Drive N.W., Calgary, Alberta T2N 1N4
(403) 220-7403
200-2021 West 4th Avenue, Vancouver, B.C. V6J 1N3

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Distribution: Canada/CMC, USA/ALLEGRO.
Produced with financial support from
The Canada Council
the Ontario Arts Council
and the City of Toronto through
the Toronto Arts Council.

Copyright notice: All of the material below is copyrighted. You may download it for personal listening. No further distribution and/or reproduction of any kind is allowed without written authorization from the copyright owner.

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Computers and tape recorders do play a central role in [Hatzis'] compositions, but he has not given up on human performers, as three of these four pieces show. The Mega4 Meta4 is a fantasy for viola and electronics. Similarly, Byzantium is practically a three-movement oboe concerto with choral underpinnings. Crucifix can be heard as a wild piece of musical theater, with the theatrical element both inspired and realized by the singer. Certainly there's nothing mechanically cold and orbidding about any of this music. It's frequently unsettling, but that has more to do with the messages (at least as perceived by me) than with the medium.... While it's true that Hatzis doesn't seem to have much use for precious understatement, he chooses his targets with assurance and lets the arrows fly. Some of the disc's highlights are: 1) the beautiful interplay between the Albinoni Adagio and sonic snapshots of urban conflict in The Mega4 Meta4; 2) the subtle use of pure-sounding choral textures in Byzantium and Crucifix, and the way that these textures melt in and out of the (considerably more exotic) surrounding material; 3) Chari Polatos as the outrageous - and I mean that in the best sense of the word -celebrant in Crucifix; and 4) the burbling good-humor of The Temptation of Saint Anthony. Despite the fact that this last piece was inspired by Max Ernst's painting of the same title, I didn't find it at all frightening, except for the perversion of some choice Elizabethan sound bytes. The human performances are warm and wonderful, and the performers are to be commended for their support of music such as this. Polatos, who was killed in a car crash shortly after he completed his role in Crucifix, is the disc's dedicatee.

Raymond S. Tuttle (Fanfare reviewer), Internet Review (Rec.Music.Classical.Recordings) (USA)

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